They say that life begins at 40. It’s that phase where you start to reap the results of your hard work in the previous years. Sadly, it’s also the same stage when the first few signs of aging begin to manifest. In most cases, adults over 40 often report having lower back pain and knee pain as their joints no longer function as they used to.
They also face spinal column changes. Some over 40 men and women develop back pain due to spinal stenosis, herniated discs, and brainstem tumors. To help you figure out how you can manage to live with back pain when you hit your 40s, let’s get to know about the condition a bit more.
Quick Facts on Back Pain
Have you recently noticed pain in the upper, middle, or lower portion of your back? If yes, then you’re now among the 65 million Americans who report back pain. Below is a list of some must-know facts about back pain and how it impacts the world, especially those over 40.
- Back pain equally affects men and women
- Most people would use words like shooting, searing, or stabbing to describe the sensation they experience during a back pain episode.
- Some cases of back pain symptoms gradually appear
- Other back pain cases happen shortly after an accident or injury
- Various organizations list back pain as the leading reason why people can’t go to work
- The USA spends about $50 billion to help patients cope with sciatica
- Back pain is a leading reason for a doctor’s appointment
- Nerve pinching can cause lower back pain and knee pain, regardless of your age
- Joint degeneration accounts for most of the cases of chronic back pain in older people
Why Pain Gets Worse As You Reach 40 and Above
Have you ever wondered why lower back pain and knee pain worsen as you age? To understand why they happen, we need to deep dive into the structure of your spine.
A quick review of your human anatomy class would remind you that each vertebral bone features a protective barrier. These layers of tissues comprise collagen and a gel-like center. As we age, the cartilage layer slowly breaks down. Water also gradually leaks out from each disc, making them less effective in minimizing the impact between each vertebral bone.
Consequently, this causes pressure on your spine and the rest of your back. It triggers bouts of pain that become more and more noticeable as you continue to age.
Hacks for Back Pain When You’re Over 40
While back pain is an inevitable part of aging, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything about it. There are plenty of simple yet effective back pain or joint pain remedies that you can try every time a painful episode hits. We’ve gathered some practical examples below:
1. Switch to a more physically active lifestyle
Maintaining a sedentary lifestyle may appear to be the best choice when you have chronic back pain problems. However, studies disagree, saying that it’s far better to continue doing your workout or other physical activities. You can start with gentle or moderate stretching exercises at first. This will help you get rid of muscle tension and keep the blood flowing to the affected parts of your body.
When you engage in physical activities to relieve your lower back pain and knee pain, we highly recommend following the tips below:
- Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes during your routine
- Spend at most 30 seconds per every stretching pose
- Do not overexert yourself when engaging in your favorite fitness routine
- You can gradually add more time you spend exercising as your pain subsides
2. Say goodbye to the excess inches around your waist
Being obese or overweight can put more strain on your suffering back. So, if you have a high BMI, we recommend trying to lose weight. This will also help you prevent other conditions that may aggravate your situation, such as osteoarthritis and joint inflammation.
3. Correct posture problems
Standing or sitting upright also aids in eliminating or reducing sciatica. Whenever you slouch, your spinal bones suffer the impact. Sometimes, it’s hard to notice the problem until your neck alignment gets messed up. This can trigger all sorts of issues ranging from unlevelled arms and hips, pinched nerves, headaches, migraines, and vertigo attacks.
4. Watch how you lift items
If your job involves lifting load from one point to another, we highly recommend minding how you position your body. Make sure to bend your knees to assume a squatting position instead of turning your upper body each time you carry an item. If you intend to carry a heavy object, be sure to reduce twisting the body.
5. Quit unhealthy vices such as smoking
Besides affecting your cardiovascular and respiratory health, smoking also contributes to the early onset of back-pain-causing conditions. It impacts blood flow which can impede the proper distribution of nutrients in crucial parts of the body, such as your intervertebral discs.
A Silverlining for Aging Adults with Back Pain
Feeling helpless and in pain shouldn’t be a part of your road to old age. If you have been experiencing the first few signs of back-pain-causing disorders, you can try seeking help from an upper cervical doctor.
Upper cervical care is a leading method used in reducing back pain that stems from a neck misalignment. Many patients who have suffered from an injury due to contact sports, accidents, and physical trauma have turned to this natural relief method.
The earlier you address potential misalignment along the neck, the better you can manage your pain and prevent other problems that might aggravate it.
Talk to an upper cervical care doctor near you to relieve your lower back pain and knee pain today!